It seems like a long time. a lot longer than the 40 days of Lent that are ahead. and a lot longer than the time between now and my sister's graduation, 2 months from today. and yet...
In those days there are 752 tasks to be accomplished, according to theknot.com and realistically...probably about that many on my own to do list. There are dozens of other events (as we have seven sets of friends getting married this year, a sibling graduating and the usual rounds of birthdays, etc.), there is a new job to continue adjusting to, there is coursework and testing for Jason to do, there are friends to catch up with, the list goes on...
But yesterday I marked off one of the most important things "to do:" it was not signing the contract for the ceremony musicians, or arranging my dress fitting, or even figuring out the marriage license. Yesterday, I emailed the pastor who will be doing our premarital counseling to set up our first session.
Now, I recognize that many folks will roll their eyes at the idea that this is the most important thing...how stereotypical of me. But in so many ways, the next 200 days are a season of preparation. And it is time to prepare for more than the ceremony and the dress...and even the government's marriage license.
In the Christian year, we start a season of preparation tomorrow. A season of preparation that involves sacrifice, disappointment, pain...but ultimately fulfillment of a promise, the remembrance of a promise and a marriage: of Christ and the church. Each year, I consider the Lenten journey and I regularly choose to participate in the discipline of giving up (meat in 2011). And some years, like this one, I take on a discipline as well (daily journaling). Because of that journey of trusting and connecting to God (but seriously, I eat a lot of bacon and turkey...so I'm going to need the help), these 40 days are fruitful and formative. And the preparation makes the fulfillment of the promise of Easter, that much more joyful.
And in the Team O'Quinn year, we continue a season of preparation tomorrow. A season of preparation that involves sacrifice, disappointment, maybe some pain...and ultimately fulfillment of a promise, the remembrance of a promise (Christ and the church again) and a marriage. My prayer, my hope is that this season too is fruitful and formative...and that the preparation makes the fulfillment of the promise that much more joyful.